I have a number of arthritic conditions that cause me daily pain but this dulls into insignificance when compared to the physical pain and mental anguish I am going through now as I mourn both my parents. It is with a very heavy heart that I write this. I know that time will help but at this moment I can't see that far ahead.
It is not a question of whether we can forgive a seemingly unforgivable atrocity; we, as the third party to events, cannot. Yet, the increased interest that forgiveness has been given over the preceding decades, as the post-witness era draws closer, is a telling sign that by exploring forgiveness there may be much to learn.
There's a rumour going around, propagated by [some] polyamorists, that polyamory is a superior ideology to monogamy. Let's face it, 'limitless love' does sound wholly honorable and blissful, even if 'limitless sex' with multiple partners sounds ~ for most of our sex-negative society ~ quite the opposite.
I woke up this morning with that agony that fills your body when you're deep in the depths of despair. There are people who think emotional pain isn't as bad as physical pain but here's the rub, there's empirical evidence that physical pain and emotional pain are registered in the exact same region of the brain.
There is no one right way to parent a child beyond the basics of love and boundaries. Children are born with different temperaments and ways of responding to the world and what works for one child is wrong for another. Most children are resilient and will bounce back but there are a few who are particularly vulnerable to addictions, psychological disorders and extreme behaviour.
The common theological heritage and the mutual reverence of Jesus and his mother by both Muslims and Christians has sadly, become sullied throughout history as Islam and Christianity are often portrayed as implacable enemies, embroiled in conflict. The reality is, despite the troubled history. there have been epochs where Christians and Muslim have co-existed in peace.
The virtues of forgiveness in many different contexts of life are manifold and well known. Forgiveness can encourage and enable healing, peaceful relations, improved individual and social welfare, and psychological well being. But forgiveness is a personal choice and it must not be coerced, whether implicitly or explicitly. It is not a panacea.
We are caught in a spiral of fear, leading to more violence and not leaving enough room for love. So a big real part of the 'war on terror' is one which takes place within us. It is one where we let our fears lead us to hate. 'Fighting' our own fears then becomes the war worth fighting and the way we can stop this cycle of violence. And we need to start uplifting others along with us.
I think it's really important to remember the reason for the season - whether you share the Christian faith or not. At the heart of Christianity are three words: love, peace and forgiveness. My thinking is that over indulging in any of these things is unlikely to result in stress, debt - or indigestion.